Actress Rui En 'regrets careless driving'

Actress Rui En (left) hit Mr Bahrom Sarmiten's motorcycle with her BMW on Tuesday. He rejected her offer of $2,000 compensation as he said it would not cover the cost of repairs to his bike.
Actress Rui En hit Mr Bahrom Sarmiten's motorcycle with her BMW on Tuesday. He rejected her offer of $2,000 compensation as he said it would not cover the cost of repairs to his bike.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO READER
Actress Rui En (left) hit Mr Bahrom Sarmiten's motorcycle with her BMW on Tuesday. He rejected her offer of $2,000 compensation as he said it would not cover the cost of repairs to his bike.
POOR CHOICE OF WORDS: "In my state of anxiety, I told him, 'Do you know who I am? I live upstairs and won't run'... I was unsure if what I said came out sounding entirely different from what I meant. I was simply trying to convey that I live here, people would know and recognise me if I ran away. In hindsight, my choice of words were inappropriate and I agree that it caused unnecessary misunderstandings." - ACTRESS RUI EN (above)

Reported 'do you know who I am' remark intended to mean she'd be recognised as she lives there

Television actress Rui En has apologised for knocking down a parked motorcycle with her car in a Clementi carpark on Tuesday, adding that she wished she had "handled the situation with more tact".

While no one was hurt, the incident - which police are investigating - became the talk of the town after she reportedly told the motorcycle owner, "Do you who I am?", when he went up to her.

The Channel 8 star, whose full name is Lu Rui En, said yesterday: "There is absolutely no excuse for my careless driving and, more importantly, I truly regret it."

The 35-year-old actress said she was on the way home at about 4pm on Tuesday when she "misjudged a turn" and knocked over the motorcycle in the carpark in front of Block 332 in Clementi Avenue 2, where she usually parks.

She explained the remarks she made to Mr Bahrom Sarmiten, 52, whose bike she had hit.

She said he kept knocking on the window of her BMW car as if she might "run away from the scene".

She said: "In my state of anxiety, I told him, 'Do you know who I am? I live upstairs and won't run'."

She meant to say that she lived there and that people would recognise her if she ran away, she said.

"In hindsight, my choice of words were inappropriate and I agree that it caused unnecessary misunderstandings," she said in a statement yesterday.

However, The New Paper reported on Friday (April 15) that Mr Bahrom said Rui En had not told him that she lives upstairs and "won't run".

When asked to clarify this, Rui En's manager told The New Paper that all that needs to be said is in the statement that was released.

Rui En's remarks have sparked an uproar online, with detractors calling her actions arrogant and immature even as her fans defended her.

Housewife Fidah Adnan, 32, said: "Maybe behind the bubbly characters she portrays on screen, she is hostile after all."

But Ms Peh Xin Yi, 28, who heads Rui En's official fan club, said: "As fans, we will always support her."

General Insurance Association chief executive Derek Teo said if one knocks over a vehicle, the first thing to do is "to stop, alight and check the damage". If there is no one in the damaged vehicle, the driver should write his personal particulars on paper and place it in a visible location on the vehicle.

Mr Bahrom told Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao that he knocked on the window of the BMW several times before it stopped.

Rui En said her "initial intention was to move my car to a traffic-free spot before addressing the matter".

She said she had offered compensation. Mr Bahrom told Wanbao she offered him $2,000, but he rejected it as it would not cover the extensive damage to his bike.

She was taken away in a police car after the incident to help with investigations.

The Mediacorp actress is due to accept the "All Time Favourite Artiste" award at the Star Awards held over this and the next Sunday.

Hype Records, which manages her, confirmed that she would be attending the ceremony as planned.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 15, 2016, with the headline 'Actress Rui En 'regrets careless driving''. Print Edition | Subscribe